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Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935)

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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 307 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 6 critic

An opium-addicted choirmaster develops an obsession for a beautiful young girl and will not stop short of murder in order to have her.


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Title: Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935)

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Cast overview:
Douglass Montgomery ...
David Manners ...
Francis L. Sullivan ...
Zeffie Tilbury ...
E.E. Clive ...
Walter Kingsford ...
Forrester Harvey ...
Veda Buckland ...
Mrs. Tope (as Vera Buckland)
Elsa Buchanan ...
George Ernest ...
Deputy (as Georgie Ernest)
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Chief Verger Tope


John Jasper, a brooding, moody choirmaster at a finishing school in Victorian England, maintains a secret life that includes frequenting an opium den. His tortured mind becomes obsessed with a young student, Rosa Bud, who is engaged to his nephew Edwin Drood. When she senses the intensity of Jasper's feelings, she becomes frightened of him and avoids his company. When the mixed-blooded Neville Landless and his twin sister Helena arrive at the school from Ceylon, Neville and Edwin take an immediate dislike to one another over Rosa's affections. Although they quarrel and make up, Edwin disappears, and suspicion logically falls on the quick-tempered Neville. Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

4 February 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charles Dickens' 'Mystery of Edwin Drood'  »

Box Office


$215,375 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film completed the 2 picture contract Claude Rains signed with Universal following the success of his debut in The Invisible Man (1933). The first feature was The Man Who Reclaimed His Head (1934) completed in October 1934. See more »


After the first dinner party, as David Manners and Douglass Montgomery are walking down the street to go home, the shadow of the boom mike can be seen in the background on the side of the buildings. See more »


John Jasper: Mr. Neville, In my presence two nights ago did you or did you not raise a knife against my Ned?
Neville Landless: I did.
Mayor Thomas Sapsea: A knife? Mmmm... most un-English!
See more »


Version of The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1960) See more »


Silent Night
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
Music by Franz Gruber
Sung as Christmas carol
See more »

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User Reviews

MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (Stuart Walker, 1935) ***
23 January 2010 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This adaptation of Charles Dickens' famous unfinished novel is made in the style of Universal's horror films: in fact, it not only features many of their participants (from both sides of the camera) but actually shares several sets with BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) –making the film all that more enjoyable and fascinating a viewing! The stunning opening sequence, depicting an opium-induced hallucination, is followed by the shocking discovery of the addict involved (Claude Rains) to be the choirmaster of the local church! Jealously in love with a girl (Heather Angel) about to marry his nephew (David Manners in the title role), he schemes to get the boy out of the way – unaware that the couple had mutually given each other up when she falls for hot-tempered newcomer Douglass Montgomery; the latter's own shaky relationship with Drood leads to his being suspected of foul play when Manners goes missing – a situation Rains encourages for obvious reasons. Montgomery, however, does not rest on his laurels – indeed, he makes himself up as an old man in order to conduct his own private investigation! The exciting climax – set inside the crypt so memorably utilized in the James Whale masterpiece I mentioned earlier – sees the villain engaged in a scuffle with the hero, eventually getting his just desserts in melodramatic fashion. The film, then, serves as an interesting companion piece to contemporaneous Dickensian adaptations (a star-studded David COPPERFIELD emerged from MGM that same year) and should also pique the interest of horror buffs for the reasons I delineated at the start…

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